Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Soul Whisperer by J.M Harrison
Release Date: 26th February 2016
Publisher: Roundfire
Genres: Mystery / historical

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to welcome JM Harrison to the blog with a great author interview and guest post! 

Do you write under your real name or is this a pen name you use?

No, it’s my real name. At the time of the publication of my first book WE ARE ALL ONE, there were a couple of other Jonathan Harrison’s out there, so I chose to use my initials. My full name is Jonathan Michael Harrison.

Where are you from?

I’m from West Sussex in England, UK - but I spent fifteen years living in rural France before returning to the UK in 2010.

Did you write as a child?

Yes, poetry and prayers! In my mid-teens I began to write songs too.

What was the first thing you ever had published?

It was an article about human consciousness and it was published in 2001.

Do you have a writing routine?

Just to write as much as I can when I can. I use the rituals to get me focused.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Yes - coffee, music, relax - look out the window and get stuck in…

Do you have a current work in progress?

Well apart from the PR for the two new books in Jan & Feb 2016 - and  I’m also working on an autobiographical series entitled THE MYSTIC CHRONICLES.

Where did the idea for your book come from?

See guest post below.

Who was the first person you gave the book to to read?

A publisher, who said enough to convince me I had an interesting storyline, and that I needed to write it better!

Do you have any advice for budding authors? 

Yes, from my blog:
1. Never give up - there are times when you want to give up or stop, but keep going.
2. Be yourself - tell the story in your own words. It's the story and characters (not your IQ) that readers are interested in.
3. Imagine and create with freedom - boundaries are often other people's concepts of what should be.
4. Don't copy another author's style - be true to who you are.
5. Keep it simple - over complicated plots and texts only disconnect the reader.
6. Read it aloud to yourself once finished, and re-write as necessary - recognize the rhythm of your prose.
7. Edit, edit and edit. When you've done that... edit. Most people tend to do the opposite.
8. Less is better, and more interesting - and keeps the reader engaged in your story.
9. Safeguard your manuscript on a stick and / or send by email - just sensible advice.
10. If you LOVE what you do, others will too.

Author links – www.AuthorJMHarrison.com

by J.M. Harrison

At the end of September 2013 I managed to take two weeks away from the bedlam of work. I needed a rest, and France was the ideal place to reinvigorate my spirit and clear my head. The first week was spent in a small house in the Montagne Noire of the Tarn, cleaning, gardening and going about general D.I.Y repairs. Each day was a bit cold and grey and I have to admit, a touch depressing. After all, when you’re living in England, the last thing you want when you’re on holiday is rain! Was this damp outlook going to be the extent of my much needed break from running one of the largest retreat centres in the UK?

By the end of the week, I moved out of the mountains, and into the sunnier climes of the Languedoc-Roussillon, staying at a lovely little 'gite' (cottage) hidden away in the heart of this beautiful countryside. It turned out to be the most amazing week of my life. The area of the French department of the Hérault is covered in stunning steep rock formations, crystalline rivers and the sweet scent of wild herbs carried on the warm breeze is never far away. It was so deliciously warm and dry. 
 As I unwound and relaxed, I was overcome by a sense of needing to write, which was in no way planned, and most unexpected. But I followed the deep sense, purchasing a decent pen and a couple of note books. I sat on the picnic bench of the sunny terrace and began to scribble, and within a couple of days, I’d filled the two notebooks. I brought all the local places into the story, and everything that happened became part of the spiritual fantasy I was writing. Journeys and visits became part of that story, as did people and places, fitting together like a real life puzzle. 
 The stunning setting of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert became the ideal backdrop. A truly magical village, a charming sun-kissed square filled with ancient houses made of golden amber stone. The village is surrounded by tall, overhanging rock faces, as if they’re protecting its secret history. The impressive but somewhat daunting Abbey, the ‘Devils’ bridge standing tall over the gorge, the dramatic caves of Clamouse… I was entranced. A trip to Limoux enabled me to gather French names from the cemetery, and on the side of the road there, I sang an intuited chant, recording it with my Dictaphone… it all seemed to be part of the blossoming story.
 I returned to the UK feeling fulfilled, and went back to work as usual. A few months later, an unexpected debacle at work led to many changes, including my departure. It was a difficult few months for all concerned. In the depths of not knowing what to do, I returned to my book. I started transcribing the notes from the two exercise books onto the laptop. Once I’d written the storyline, I contacted a few people, including a mainstream publisher. Each person responded positively, which gave me the encouragement I needed to spend the next 9 months working solidly on the manuscript.
 Following the perfume of the Soul, I found my literary agent / manager to help with the novel and collaborated with a Grammy Award Winning producer (yes, the chants on the Dictaphone!) and now a talented young script writer has also joined the project. 
 Now, with a completed novel 'The Soul Whisperer' I am doing the work that I LOVE. Through words and music, I feel I am expressing the truth of who I am - and I can actually feel the resonance of that in my being. It's like the way ahead is flowing and clear, and that brings peace and fulfilment. It's as if that time in France guided me towards the clarity of my soul.
  I think the most any one of us can do to grow is to find and follow what we LOVE, for in doing so we converge with the intelligence of the Soul. The true nature of the Soul works for the totality. So in following Soulness (the consciousness of the Soul), we all contribute uniquely, but benefit the individual and the whole.  
I sincerely hope that anyone who reads this book receives fun, thrills and something ‘more’ for them individually, for that is the intention and the goal.

Book Blurb  

Following personal tragedies and spiralling financial problems, Londoners Alex and Sara are desperate to find ways to rediscover their zest for life. A free holiday provides the perfect opportunity for a second chance, but not long after arriving in France they discover that all is not what it seems... A series of shocking revelations challenge their understanding of humanity, as they are propelled into a dangerous world governed by a ruthless occult society. Magical relics and extra-terrestrial objects promise to unlock incredible secrets, but what extremes will people go to in order to attain them? In a modern-day spiritual quest, Alex and Sara will be forced to take control of their destiny, facing their own demons along the way as time counts down, for them and the entire human race…

Author bio

Born in southern England in the mid 60's, by the early 1980's Jonathan's natural creativity was expressed through contemporary singing and song writing.  In 1987 he underwent an interesting short stint as the lead singer of the popular band Frankie Goes To Hollywood following the departure of vocalist Holly Johnson. By the end of his music career in 1990 he was awarded a gold disc for his lead vocal on the Telstar compilation album "Get on This 2", which sold over 100,000 copies, going to number 2 in the UK album charts.
     Following a powerful mystical death experience in 2007, the spiritual realisation inspired him to write his first book "We Are All One: A call to spiritual uprising". Written in just six days, the critically acclaimed work was the WINNER of the 2009 Allbooks International Editor’s Choice Award (USA) in the Spirituality & Inspiration category.
    By January 2009 he accepted an invitation to teach alongside Barbara Marx-Hubbard, Esther Hicks, Steve and Barbara Rother and others on the international seminar series ‘Intimate conversations with Masters and Mystics' hosted by Linda L. Pannell.
    Jonathan’s second book ‘NAKED BEING: Undressing Your Mind, Transforming Your Life’ – was published by O books on the 28th May 2010. Further kudos followed when it was honoured as a Best Books Award Finalist 2010 (USA Book News) in the genre of Spirituality.
    During a vacation in France in 2013, Jonathan wrote his first novel THE SOUL WHISPERER. The novel is a cross-genre mix of fact and fiction, blended with the many experiences and phenomena that have taken place in the author’s life. The completed manuscript caught the imagination of international publishers, and a deal was struck with Roundfire Books in June 2015.


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